Reuters World News Highlights

PARIS – France and Germany are to sound out conservative  European leaders today about their plan to defuse the euro  zone’s debt crisis, eager to rally support before a high-stakes  EU summit.
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MOSCOW – Vladimir Putin filed candidacy papers for a March 4  presidential election yesterday while his opponents prepared  for more protests over a parliamentary vote they say was rigged  in favour of his ruling party.
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CAIRO – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood won a majority of run-off  contests in the first round of a parliamentary election, the  electoral commission said yesterday, to consolidate its  position as the clear front-runner.
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KABUL – Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday blamed a  Pakistan-based group for bomb attacks in three Afghan cities  that killed at least 59 people on Tuesday, an allegation that  could stoke new tensions with Islamabad.
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BEIRUT – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied  ordering his troops to kill peaceful demonstrators, telling the  U.S. television channel ABC that only a “crazy” leader kills his  own people.
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DURBAN – Negotiators are close to agreeing the shape of a  Green Climate Fund, which is designed to help poor nations  tackle global warming and nudge them towards a new global effort  to fight climate change.
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WASHINGTON – The unmanned U.S. drone Iran said on Sunday it  had captured was programmed to automatically return to base even  if its data link was lost, one key reason that U.S. officials  say the drone likely malfunctioned and was not downed by Iranian  electronic warfare.
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BANGKOK – From a windowless room in a Bangkok suburb,  computer technicians scour thousands of websites, Facebook pages  and tweets night and day. Their mission: to suppress what is  regarded as one of Thailand’s most heinous crimes — insulting  the monarchy.

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